Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/161520
Authors: 
Boly, Amadou
Gillanders, Robert
Miettinen, Topi
Year of Publication: 
2016
Series/Report no.: 
WIDER Working Paper 2016/137
Abstract: 
In our framed laboratory experiment, two Public Officials, A and B, make consecutive decisions regarding embezzlement from separate funds. Official B observes Official A's decision before making their own. There are four treatments: three with deterrence and one without. We find a peer effect in embezzlement in that facing an honest Official A reduces embezzlement by Official B. Likewise, deterrence matters in that higher detection probabilities significantly decrease embezzlement. Crucially, detection is more effective in curbing embezzlement when chosen by an honest Official A compared to a corrupt Official A at almost all individual detection levels. This 'legitimacy' effect may help explain why anti-corruption policies can fail in countries where the government itself is believed to be corrupt.
Subjects: 
corruption
deterrence
embezzlement
laboratory experiment
legitimacy
peer effect
JEL: 
C91
D03
D73
K42
ISBN: 
978-92-9256-181-9
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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